(Article last checked: April 11, 2016)
In years and years of planning Disney World trips, I've made some mistakes.
And you will too.
You can read and read to plan your trip but some of what you learn will be gained just by going there and figuring some things out on your trip.
Here are 5 mistakes I've made while planning trips to Disney World.
In this article
Mistake #1: not allowing enough time for transportation
You might read that the distance between 2 points at Disney World is just a few miles so you might assume that it'll just take a few minutes.
Nothing at Disney World takes a few minutes.
When using Disney transportation, allow for an hour to get anywhere. It may not end up taking that long but often times, it does.
On our first trip, we had young children so I planned an afternoon break each day but a dining reservation around 5. By the time we left the parks around 1 or 2, got back to the hotel, laid down for a few minutes and then...it was time to go again!
I suggest considering taking a taxi/Uber to alleviate some of the long travel times. Times when taxis/Ubers make a lot of sense include:
- Traveling between many resorts
- After a nighttime show when the bus line is really long
- When your schedule is tight and you need to save some time
Mistake #2: eating all over the place
There are a LOT of places to eat at Disney World.
My mistake was reading about a fun place to eat without considering where it was located.
Mistake #3: planning too much
The top thing that I recommend to people is that they pare down their plans.
It's super tempting to want to do it all but you won't. It's important to be realistic and allow some free time to be flexible.
Planning too much means you spend your trip being frantic to get to the next thing rather than enjoying things as you do them.
Mistake #4: not using PhotoPass photographers
After our first Disney World trip, I realized we didn't have many pics with all 4 of us in it. Every trip since then, we've used the PhotoPass photographers so we have plenty of pics in prime spots featuring our whole family.
Learn more about PhotoPass photographers, including using a special link to get a discount when you pre-order.
Mistake #5: booking flights based on cost alone
This is sort of a general mistake but after getting stuck at Ohare well into the wee hours of the morning after a Disney trip, I'd really suggest not doing this with your Disney trips.
Most people book flights based on cost which is why the airlines know they can get away with not offering much seat space or any extras. If they do offer extras and charge more, people will still always be looking for the best deal.
Flights really need to be chosen based on a combo of things including schedule and price. If you can book direct flights, do that. That reduces the possibility of delays and allows you to start and end your Disney World trip with less stress.
You can also use FlightStats.com to check the history of a flight you're considering booking to see how often it's on time.
To learn more about booking flights for your Disney World trip, read my article on finding the best flights.